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Ridgefield Among Top School Districts Nationwide Recognized by National Board
Friday, October 11, 2019

Ridgefield School District was recognized by the National Board for Professional Teaching Standards as one of 81 school districts across the country that work hard to promote student learning through accomplished teaching. 

These National Board Accomplished Districts were recognized because 20% or more of their teachers have earned National Board certification—an achievement that encourages teachers to teach to high standards and to reflect on their practice to get better each day to positively impact learning for their students.

Qualifying for National Board Certification is rigorous and involves a four-part application process that includes a skills test, a portfolio demonstrating an ability to build classroom lessons tailored for individual students, a video showing interactions with students and self-reflection on their teaching.

“Achieving National Board certification is not easy, and teachers who earn this respected designation demonstrate a commitment to excellence in teaching,” said Nathan McCann, Ridgefield’s superintendent.  “I am proud of our National Board Certified teachers.  Their dedication ensures that we are providing the best possible learning experience, opportunities and skills to our students.”

“The focus of National Board certification is always on student learning,” said Deb Ortner, TOSA for Elementary Professional Development for the district.  “I’m proud to be a part of a district that holds the National Board Certification program in high regard and understands the impact that a National Board Certified teacher has on his/her students.”   A National Board Certified teacher herself, Ortner mentors a cohort of candidates for National Board Certification.

Candidates working within a cohort benefit greatly from the experience according to Ortner because they work together to identify student learning within the lessons they share by reviewing one another’s writing and videos.

“Reflecting on each other’s instructional choices helps to strengthen the candidates’ teaching practices, resulting in an increase in student achievement,” said Ortner.  “It allows teachers to peel away the layers of their practice and rebuild them one at a time through the lens of student learning.  It’s an amazing experience.”